Monday, October 31, 2016

Dorin Popa writes

between me and the one who could love you
sometimes God shows Himself
together with strange things
that darken the world’ s face

between me and the one who towards you is running
there are so many things that stay still,
foreboding …

(fog climbs and descends
– I do not want to touch
what I can hardly see!)

between us, the dead and the living
together are rejoicing
the world is waiting, again,
to start

between me and the one who could have loved you
you can hardly step further,
you can hardly breathe
and you have such a beautiful face
of the past

God Appears to Moses in Burning Bush -- Eugene Pluchart


  1. According to the Bible, an angel appeared to Moshe (Moses), an outlawed Jewish member of the Egyptian royal family, in a burning bush (seneh, brambles) that the flames would not consume, and subsequently Adonai (God) spoke to him from the bush, changed his staff into a snake, made his hand leprous, and transmuted water into blood. He told him to obtain the release of the Jews from Egyptian bondage and then to lead them into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites. When Moses demurred, claiming he lacked eloquence, Adonai rebuked him for questioning the creator of his own mouth, but he also allowed Moses’ older brother Aaron to speak on his behalf as his “prophet.” When the brothers confronted the pharaoh, Aaron allowed his rod to turn into a snake at Moses’ command and stretched it out in order to bring on the first three plagues against the Egyptian people. After the Jews fled Egypt, they were led primarily by Moses, Aaron, and their older sister Miryam. When Aaron and Miryam objected to Moses’ marriage to a Cushite and complained about his exclusive claim to be God’s prophet, God appeared in a pillar of cloud and affirmed Moses' uniqueness as the one with whom he had spoken face to face; Miryam was punished with a disease that turned her skin white, but Aaron pleaded with Moses to intercede for her, and Miryam was healed after seven days of quarantine.

  2. At the battle with Amalek, Aaron and Hur (Miryan’s husband, according to Josephus) were chosen to support the hand of Moses that held the "rod of God," and when Moses ascended Mt. Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments he was accompanied by Yeshoshua (Joshua) while Aaron and Hur remained behind to look after the people. During Moses’ prolonged absence there, the people provoked Aaron to make a golden calf as a visible image of the divinity that had delivered them from Egypt; Moses intervened to spare Aaron and to prevent God from destroying the Jews and then led the loyal members of his tribe, the Levites, to purge most of the impious (the ones who survived were then afflicted by a plague). In most rabbinic sources and in the Qur'an, Aaron was spared because he was not himself the idol-maker and had given in because he had been mortally threatened by the unfaithful. Instead, Aaron and his male descendants were given a monopoly over the position of high priest, and the Levites were given subordinate priestly responsibilities; however, on the day of Aaron's consecration, his oldest sons, Nadab and Abihu, were burned up by divine fire because they offered "strange" incense. To emphasize the validity of the Levites' claims to the offerings and tithes, Moses collected a rod from the leaders of each of the 12 tribes and laid them overnight in the tent of meeting, and Aaron's rod blossomed and produced ripe almonds. A Levite named Korah challenged Aaron's exclusivity but was punished by being swallowed up by the earth, and a plague broke out among his sympathizers; at Moses’ command, Aaron stood between the living and the dead till the plague abated. From Sinai, Moses led his people to the Desert of Paran on the border of Canaan, but some of the Jews became disheartened and wanted to return to Egypt. Moses told them they were not worthy to inherit the land of their forefathers and would wander the wilderness for 40 years until the generation who had refused to enter Canaan died. In the last of those years, God commanded Moses and Aaron to speak to a rock in order to obtain water from it, but Moses struck it with his staff instead; so neither brother was permitted to enter Canaan. Soon afterwards, the brothers and Aaron’s son Eleazar ascended Mt. Hor, where Moses stripped Aaron of his priestly garments and transferred them to Eleazar; Aaron then died on the mountain at 123. Moses led the Jews to the territories of Edom and Moab, where they escaped a second temptation of idolatry, received God's blessing through Balaam the prophet, and massacred the Midianites. On the banks of the Jordan River, in sight of Canaan, Moses assembled the tribes and delivered God's laws by which they must live in the land, passed his authority to Joshua, and then ascended Mt. Nebo to the top of Pisgah and died at 120.The “Epistle of Jude” in the New testament claimed that the archangel Michael and the Devil disputed possession of his body. Eastern Orthodox Christians refer to “the unburnt bush,” believing that the flame Moses saw was God's eternal Uncreated Energies manifested as light. The distinction between God’s essence (ousia) and his energies (energeia), or activities (acta) as actualized in the world, is a central principle formulated in the 14th century by St. Gregory Palamas as part of his defense of the mystical practice of hesychasm; seeking to defend the assertion that humans can become godlike via theosis (deification), a transformative process brought about by the effects of katharsis (purification of mind and body) and theoria (“illumination” with the “vision” of God). Since God’s ousia is "that which finds no existence or subsistence in any other thing" and thus is incomprehensible to created beings, it is only his energeia that enable people to experience something of the divine nature of God, at first through sensory perception and then later intuitively.


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